London Mayor Ken Livingstone was positively Churchillian in his response to the July 7 bombings. Rather than blaming British or Israeli policies for terrorist attacks on innocent civilians -- his usual M.O. -- Livingstone condemned the bombings as "mass murder" aimed "at ordinary working-class Londoners" on the day of the attacks.
This week, even before Thursday's attempted bombings, Livingstone was back to his old nasty self. On Wednesday, he told BBC where he placed blame for the bombings: "I think you have just had 80 years of Western intervention in predominantly Arab lands because of the Western need for oil."
Red Ken -- as British papers call him -- also blamed "those governments which use indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy, as we have occasionally seen with the Israeli government." Oh, and he blamed the United States for helping the Afghans fight off a Soviet occupation -- which makes Americans the "creators" of Osama bin Laden.
That is, at first, Livingstone blamed the bombers. Then, he blamed everyone but the bombers.
In response, the Daily Telegraph ran Livingstone's mug next to those of Islamic radicals Sheik Omar Bakri Mohamed and Anjem Choudary under the heading "The men who blame Britain." Mohamed blamed British voters and mainstream British Muslims for the bombings, while Choudary, the New York Times reported, predicted another attack.
Sounds familiar. Livingstone typifies a certain stripe of lefty that so hates President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair that he or she makes excuses for murderers.
Imagine, as I've written before, if anti-abortion terrorists began killing innocent civilians and said they would stop only if the government outlaws abortion. (After all, if terrorism wins for Islamic extremists, why shouldn't U.S. extremists adopt it?) The Left would not fault pro-abortion policies. The Left would not blame the government for legalizing abortion. The Left -- correctly -- would denounce the terrorists, the violence and any attempt to extort policy by threatening innocent lives.
Yet because the terrorists criticize the Bush and Blair policies, many leftists make excuses for the July 7 murders. These true believers have taken the old saw -- the enemy of my enemy is my friend -- to such an extreme that they have become apologists for homicidal zealots who, given power, would have little reservations about jailing them (or worse) for their gender, sexual practices or "infidel" status.